Adolescence Part I.docx

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Western University
Health Sciences
Health Sciences 2700A/B
Treena Orchard

Adolescence Part I­ the normative model: November 5, 2013 Read: Berk, 2008: 283­287, 288­299, 314­319,324­333 Physical and cognitive development in adolescence  Adolescence: the transition between childhood and adulthood. • The tasks of this time period are the same globally  The beginning of adolescence starts with puberty: a flood of biological events leading to an adult sized body and sexual maturity Physical development - Conceptions of adolescence  During the early 20 century adolescence was viewed as a time of storm and stress perspective  G.Stanely Hall – saw adolescence as a period so turbulent resembling an era in which humans evolved from savages into civilized beings  Anna Frued – viewed the teenage years as a biologically based, universal developmental disturbance  View of storm and stress is exaggerated – even though some teens do experience serious difficulties, emotional turbulence is not routine  Margaret mead – concluded that because of the cultures relaxed social relationships and openness to sexuality, adolescence is a pleasant time ( pacific island, Somoa). She offered a different view in which noted that the environment of the adolescent is responsible for the range of teenage experience - Puberty: the Physical transition to adulthood  Within a few years the body of a child is transitioned into that of a full grown adult  Girls, who have been advanced in physical maturity since the prenatal period, reach puberty, on average 2 years earlier than boys  Hormonal changes  Hormonal changes occur gradually and are on their way around 8-9  Secretion of growth hormone (GH) and thyroxine increase, thus leading to tremendous gains in the body size  Boys testes release large quantities of the androgen testosterone, which leads to muscle growth, body and facial hair and other male characteristics  The testes screte small amounts of estrogen too, in both sexes estrogens increase GH secretion adding to the growth spurt  Estrogen released be girls ovaries causes the breasts uterus and vagina to mature – contributes to regulation of menstrual cycle  Adrenal androgens released from the adrenal glands on top of each kidney stone influence girls height spurt and stimulate growth of underarm and pubic hair  Pubertal changes: are of two broad types: • Overall body growth • Maturation of sexual characteristics  Body growth  first outward sign of puberty is the rapid gain in height and weight known as the growth spurt  body proportions: during puberty, cephalocaudal growth trend of infancy and childhood reverses. – hands, legs and feet accelerate first, then torso, which accounts for most of the adolescent height gain. Boys shoulders broaden, where as girls hips broaden.  Muscle fat makeup and other internal changes: number of red blood cells- and therefore the ability to carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles – increases in boys but not girls - Motor development and physical activity  Girls gains are slow and gradual, leveling off by age 14  Boys show a dramatic spurt in strength, speed, and endurance that continues through the teenage years  Among boys, atheletic competence, is strongly related to peer admiration and self esteem  3% of American boys report taking steroids • Usually obtain them illegally, ignoring side effects – range from acne, excess body hair, and highblood pressure - Sexual maturation  Primary sexual characteristics: involve the reproductive organs (ovaries, vagina, penis, scrotum, and testes)  Secondary sexual charactersitics: visible on the outside of the body and serve as additional signs of sexual maturity – breast development, appearance of underarm and pubic hair in both sexes  Sexual maturation in girls: puberty usually begins with budding of the breasts and the growth spurt. Menarche – or the first mensturation, typically happens around age 12 ½. Age ranges from 10 ½ - 15 ½ .  Sexual maturation in boys: the first sign of puberty in boys in the enlargement of the testes. Changes in the colour and texture of the scrotum. After pubic hair emerges, the penis begins to enlarge. underarm hair appears soon after its peak. Around age 13 1/2, spermarch – or the first ejaculation occurs - individual differences in pubertal growth  Heredity has a big impact on the timing of when puberty starts  Nutrition and exercise also contribute to this  In girls, a sharp rise in body weigth and fat may trigger sexual maturation – fat cells release a protein called leptin which is believed to signal the brain that the girls energy stores are suffient for puberty – a likely reason that breast and pubic hair and menarche occur earlier for heavier and espeicailly obese girls  In poverty stricken areas where malnutrition is very prevelant, menarche is generally delayed until around 14-16 in many parts of Africa  When childrens safety and security are at risk, it is adaptive for them to reproduce early  Girls exposed to family conflict tend to reach menarche early  A secular trend- or generational change, in pubertal timing lends added support to the rold of physical well being in pubertal development. – in industrialized nations age of menarche declined steadily. - Brain development  Brain imaging research reveals continued pruning of unused synapses in the cerebral cortex, especially in the frontal lobes – the governor of thought and action  Growth and myelination of stimulated neural fibres accelerate , strengthening connections among varius regions – especially the frontal lobes and other areas  Neurons become more responsive to excitatory neurotransmitters during puberty. Adolescence react more strongly to stressful events, and they also experience pleasurable stimuli more intensely  Revisions occure in the brains regulation of sleep, perhaps because of increased neural sensitivity to evening light – as a result go to bed much later The psychological impact of pubertal events  Research reveals that pubertal events affect adolescents self-image, mood, and interaction with parents and peers - Reactions to pubertal changes  Two generations ago menarche was seen as being traumatic  Now people react with surprise because of the sudden onset of the event  For girls who have no advance information, can be shocking and disturbing  Few girls today are uninformed – shift that is probably due to parents greater willingness to discuss sexual matters and more widespread health education classes  Boys responses to spremarche reflect a mixture of feelings aswell  All boys know about ejactulation ahead of time, usually get info from their own reading  Even boys who knew about it felt it happened earlier than expected  Overall, boys get less social support than girls for the phyiscial changes of puberty  Many tribal and village societies celebrate onset with an initiation ceremony - Pubertal change, emotion, and social behaviour  Common belief, time of moodiness, wanting emotional and physical separation from their parents  Adolescent moodiness: biological, psychological, and social forces combine to make adolescence a time of deeper valleys and higher peaks in emotional experience. Relationship to hormonal changes and mood are not strong. – adolescence report less favourable moods than children and adults. Negative emotions linked to a greater number of negative life events – ex, difficulties with parents, disciplinary actions at school, breaking up with bf/gf. Negative events increase as they grow from childhood and transition into adolescents  Parent child relationship: studies show, conflict rises during adolescence. Frequency of arguing is similar across all north American subcultures. Associations of more conflict may be due to, the young typically leaving the family group around the time of puberty. – departure of young people discourages sexual relations between close blood relatives. – since they are economically dependent on parents, adolescents in industrialized nations cant leave the family. Conflicts focus largely on mundane day-to-day activities, conflicts are more prevelant between daughters and parents most likely because there are more restrictions placed on the daughter - Pubertal timing  Both adults and peers viewed early maturing boys as relaxed, independent, confident, and physically attractive. – popular tend to hold leadership positions in school and to be athletic stars. – late maturing boys were viewed as anxious and attention seeking. – early maturing girls were unpopular, withdrawn, lacking in self confidence, and axious, held fewer leadership positions. Late maturing counterparts- lively socialable, and leaders at the school.  role of physical attractiveness: consistent with these preferences, early maturing girls usually report less positive body image: conception of and attitude towards their appearance  Importance of fitting in with peers: early maturing girls and late maturing boys have difficulty with peers, they feel out of place when with their agemates. – early maturing adolescents of both sexes seek out older c
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